Friday, January 16, 2009

Forks: A tine or two for art

In my debut post, I mentioned that I would like to use this blog to have some fun from time to time, whether it be in the discussion itself or with the pictures. So I'm going to use today's post to do just that, introducing one of several still-life images I've concocted that use a fork as the primary subject. I call my ongoing fork endeavor "Tines Art" ... and I call the above image, which dates to April 2007, "Salt 'n' Pepa Reach the Forks in the Row." 

With one exception, for all the photos in my Tines Art Series, I used a makeshift mini-studio. The studio consists of the dining room table, one horizontal gray cardboard and two vertical cardboards (the latter to help funnel or direct light), and sunlight from a north window. I'll introduce the other images in my series in subsequent posts.

Oddly, only two months after I came up with the first two images in this series (I shot the first in March 2007), Greg Mitchell, the teacher of an advanced photography class I took at IUPUI through the Continuing Education Program, assigned our class to take a photograph that incorporated as its subject -- can you guess? Uh-huh. A fork.

I didn't submit "Forks in the Row" for my assignment, but I did submit the one I had taken in March. I thought the "fork in the road" concept might be a bit too obvious, and indeed, another student did submit one. To her credit, she did a nice job with it. She set up the shot outside and positioned a table fork on a road in rural Hancock County. It had to be a bit risky, considering that she could easily have encountered traffic in the time it took to set up and take the shot to her satisfaction. Increasing the danger, she lay prone in the center of the pavement to give the camera a direct line to the fork. She did ask her young son to act as a lookout for traffic, by the way, and fortunately, she had no close calls. The depth of field she used helped make hers a fine effort, I thought. 

After we submitted our images to Greg, he seemed less than impressed and challenged us to go out and do it again for the following week's assignment. I was glad; after submitting the first image, I felt like I had skirted the spirit of the assignment by submitting a photo I'd already taken, and I really did want to  do a new one. Now Greg was giving me that chance, and not only did I submit a new image for the redo assignment, I submitted two. After I'd taken the first shot and emailed it to Greg, I came upon a fortuitous situation for a second tines image, snagged it and sent that to Greg, too. When the class convened and Greg asked me to tell the story behind the second image, I got the sense that some of my classmates were skeptical, but I asserted then, and I assert now, it was 100% true. 

I'll tell that story in a later post. 

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